Home Business NewsBusiness Who is Kelly Hoppen, the new Dragons’ Den investor?

Who is Kelly Hoppen, the new Dragons’ Den investor?

19th Feb 13 11:59 am

The celebrity designer takes her seat in the Den after Theo and Hillary left

Kelly Hoppen will join Dragons’ Den for the BBC2 show’s 11th series, following the departure of Theo Paphitis and Hillary Devey. The 53-year-old interior designer and businessperson is the queen of pared-back chic, famed for natural and neutral colour schemes – earning her the moniker “the Queen of Cream”.

South-African-born Hoppen’s business credentials are rather glittering, and she’s been awarded an MBE for her services to interior design. She started designing when she was just 16. Her clients are a roll-call of celebrities that includes the Beckhams. She designs for international corporate clients as well as fitting out the super-yachts and super-homes of the super-rich. In 2007, Hoppen told The Telegraph that she’s never done an interior design job for less than £300,000.

She founded the Kelly Hoppen Design School to pass on her expertise, and is an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise. She’s written numerous books on interior design, and has also expanded her business into accessories with a range of furniture, lights, fabrics, candles and paints. Hoppen also launched a highly successful range for shopping channel QVC. She recently launched her own iPhone app, ‘Home Style by Kelly Hoppen’.

Hoppen is no stranger to the media spotlight, being firmly nestled in the weirdly wonderful world of celebrity. She brings a nice bit of glamour to the panel, having been coupled with uber-hairdresser Nicky Clarke for a number of years until the couple split, and having previously been linked to Jamie Theakston, Sol Campbell and Jamie Foxx. She also happens to be Sienna Miller’s step-mother. As well as that, she’s a familiar face to TV design fans since presenting a Channel 5 show.

Hoppen said of joining Dragons’ Den: “I have always been passionate about championing entrepreneurs, so being able to take it to the next level by investing my money in innovative new businesses is very exciting.

“Having started my design business as a teenager, building a global brand through two recessions, I understand the reality of running a creative business.

“I’m looking forward to bringing a different perspective into the Den and to hopefully finding an undiscovered gem or two.”

Earlier today she tweeted from @IMKellyHoppen: “Thank you for all your support and lovely messages, delighted and very excited to be joining the @BBCDragonsDen team!” In response to Duncan Bannatyne’s tweet welcoming her to the show: “thanks very much, am so looking forward to being apart of such a fantastic show x”.

Executive producer of Dragons’ Den, Ceri Aston, said: “Kelly is an exciting addition to the Dragons’ Den line-up. With her creative energy, business acumen and acute sense of style, she embodies everything that’s great about British design. I’m thrilled to have her on board.”

Hopefully Hoppen will spruce up the dusty old interior of the warehouse the Dragons sit in, too.

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